The One that Got Away…or did it?

I haven’t been to an auction since Kramer passed away in June and we closed the antique booth.  It’s not for a lack of wanting to go, it’s more of a “am I using my time wisely” and a “do I really want to afford anything” that’s what has prevented me.  Also, when I know I can’t resell things if I don’t like them in the spot I envisioned them at my home, makes things  a little bit harder.

Well I saw this in the photos of an upcoming auction.


I went into the listing and read.  It said, “half size Singer portable sewing machine”.  Hmm.  Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a Featherweight in WHITE.  I don’t have one.  Seriously I don’t need one either.

I have had great luck with reselling machine so that thought was in my mind.  Oh auctions…you are so hard to predict.

It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Some people might be out and about shopping.  Some people might be home with family having their Thanksgiving.  Oh me or my.

Does it work…Doesn’t it work?  Is everything there?  Oh this is so hard.  Do I go to the auction or not.

I love that in the listing they only said, “half size Singer portable sewing machine”.  Had they said “Featherweight”, it might have caught more attention.  Speaking of attention, I watched for the newspaper and I watch auction bills and when they printed them, the picture of the machine was not on the bill.  Good.  Less attention again.

Well…I decided I better go to the auction.  Either way…if I bought it or didn’t, I was going to have a story to tell you all.

I found the machine right away.


I did a quick check…bobbin case?  Yes.  Wheel turns?  YES.  The accessories were there.  I all looked good.  The case was in mint condition.


So now to wait until it sells.  Let me tell you upfront, this auctioneer is not my favorite.  He’s slow.  He stops and tells stories.  He misses bids.  He at times has two people on the last bid and both people thought they were the ones who got the item so the bidding has to open again.  He’s a nice guy but as an auctioneer, he’s my least favorite in the area.  
The biggest reason I get frustrated with him though…he whines.  For example:  A gun case was going to be sold.  This one….


It was in good shape…but here’s the thing.  People don’t have gun cases like they did in 1970.  A majority of the people who own guns keep them locked up securely and in a heavy duty gun case.  Times have changed and it’s not in vogue anymore to have an open gun case.  Well the auctioneer started the bid out at $300.  No one bid.  He lowered to $250.  No one bid.  He did that several times until he got to $100.  Still no one bid.  Then he went into this big long story about how this gun case was in the upstairs of the home.  He had to get people to carry it down and get it here and if went for less than $100 he was hardy going to be compensated.

Well…I’m sorry guy but you are running a business and you take the risk.  Finally after pleading it went to $50.  He pleaded and pleaded and someone finally bid.  Then he pleaded and pleaded for someone to bid $60.  I don’t think anyone did.  I think it sold for $50.

The problem…he does this a lot.  The whining gets old.  Once I went to an auction and there was no crowd there.  He whined and whined.  At one point he said about a dated floral couch that if someone wouldn’t give $25 he was holding it over until the auction the following week.  I wouldn’t have bought it for my basement couch.  It was not a good couch and no one in the audience wanted it.

Another time he cried and cried for a bid.  No one would bid.  It was the end of an auction and he was wanting people to pay $15 for a 45 record case.  No one wanted to pay that.  It went to $10 then $5.  Finally I said I’d give him $2.  He said no. If I didn’t want to pay the $5, then he wouldn’t sell it.  Then he said the bid was $5 and handed it to me.  I told him I wouldn’t pay that.  Then after two more things sold, he announced that he would sell it to me for $3.  I was hot but didn’t say any of the things I wanted to like how embarrassing he was or what I really thought of his skills as an auctioneer.  I bought the case for $3.  He went on to do a couple similar things to me at other auctions.

See why I don’t like him.

Anyway…I wished the auction wasn’t with this guy.  While I waited I looked.


Nothing really caught my attention.  There were things I would have loved having for nostalgia but nostalgia doesn’t make the house payment.   Besides…I’ve learned I’m not a clutter girl.

There was one “end table” there that I thought would work in the living room by the recliner.  I walked over and checked it out and after carefully looking at it I decided- Yep, if that went cheap, I’d buy it.  But, I didn’t want to wait around for it for forever.

It was so slow at the auction that I decided to run to Wal-Mart and do my errands. Then back I went to the auction.  They didn’t progress much further so I ran to the quilt shop.  I did my errand and came back to the auction.

When I got back, they announced that the auction was going to split into two rings after a bit.  I decided to stay.  So I settle in.


After about an hour they finally finished up and started at this end of the building.  By this time, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be getting the machine.  I saw people there with much deeper pocket books.  I was only interested in a deal.  I didn’t need another machine.

When we moved I saw the lady with the beautiful gray hair and white shirt in the front.  I know her.  She runs a pop up antique shop in town.  She’s super sweet.  I thought she’d likely buy the machine…but before we could get to that…that table filled with items where the lady with the purple coat is had to get sold.  Oh…I thought things would sell but here I was, still waiting.


Finally…the machine was pulled up to the table and bidding would start.


The auctioneer started at $150 and then with no bids went to $125.  Two hands shot up and neither was mine.  One was the gal in the front row who I figured would buy the machine.  The bidding was fast and fierce.  In less than a minute the bid was over $500.  Bidding stopped at $575.  I can’t be sure if it sold for $575 or if that was the last bid the auctioneer cried for.  So the final bid was either $575 or $550.  The gal in the front row didn’t up her bid and someone sitting behind me got the machine.  I never raised my hand.

Once I knew the sewing machine was a no go I decided I might as well check to see if I could get the “end table”.  Here’s the secret about the “end table”.  It’s really a sewing cabinet.

I sat down next to it and the other auctioneer who was managing the 2nd ring of the sale was just getting to the cabinet.  He shoved a bunch of tables together and said the bid would be for choice.  I was hoping no one else would realize it was a sewing cabinet.  Apparently someone knew as the bidding was fast and quickly went to $45.  I bought it and here it is….


Nothing fancy. I need to do a little clean up work on it.  It has the ring stain on the top.

I spent more than I expected.  I almost quilt and likely would have it went over $50.  I had a spot in mind for it in the living room being I had spent little money at the sale I thought what the heck…it’s my early birthday present to myself.

The top opens like this….


The tray lifts and there is access to the drawer below.

The inside of the upper lid looks like this….

There are two drawers that pull out.  They are a nice size.


Inside was this label.

So I looked it up online.  I saw these pictures….


Oh my, isn’t it cute??
I’m very happy with it.  A little bit of elbow grease and I think I have a piece I can enjoy.  This last one I think is most like mine.  The other two had different handles.

From the pictures shown I can see what they are asking for the cabinet online.  Ebay and Etsy both show ones with asking prices of between $225 and $250.

I would have not paid that much money for them but I did feel a little bit better about paying $45 for it.

…and with that, home I went.  It was an interesting day.  I’m pretty impressed with myself for staying in the money range I had hoped to spend.  I did buy one other thing but I bought that to sell here to one of you when I have the next auction for you all to bid.  I want to share the fun with you.

13 thoughts on “The One that Got Away…or did it?

  1. Gayle Shumaker

    I have a sewing cabinet identical to the picture of the one in front of the brick wall, the one with the circular drawer pulls. I got mine as a teenager, it was left in a house my parents bought. I used it as a night stand for many years. Now I cherish it sor what it was really made for.

  2. Mary Jo B.

    I can’t believe that the sewing machine went for that much money. However, I think you got a good deal on your sewing cabinet. You’ll have fun getting it all fixed up. I hope you will send us a picture when it is all clean and stocked. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Anne

    Well am glad you got something. Guessing this auctioneer will be out of business after people read this. I wouldn’t hire him or attend his auctions.

  4. Judy In MO

    I’m stunned that the white Featherweight went for that amount. I bought mine a few years ago for $375 and thought that was too high. I’m not even crazy about sewing on it. It doesn’t sew nearly as well as the black ones.

  5. Pat B

    The auctioneer makes the auction. There are some that even if I like what is in the auction bill, I will not go to due to the auctioneer. It is so frustrating when they do not move things along.
    Nice cabinet

  6. Janet R

    I like the sewing cabinet. $45 was a great deal! And knowing you, you’ll have it sparkling and looking fantastic in no time.

    I can’t believe the sewing machine went for so much. Supply and demand, I suppose.

    We’ve had auctioneers like that in our area. Ugh! My mom loved auctions and collected lots of things. If a box wasn’t selling they’d look at her and she’d usually get it for $1-2. Then we kids had to haul it and put it wherever she wanted it. She wasn’t very good at sorting the box and getting rid of the things she didn’t want. You are much more discerning.

  7. Arlene K

    In the picture with the seashells there is a blue (chainlink) casserole w lid…I have collected many of these pieces over the years Jo-most of them bought in the midwest. (Omaha, North Platte NE; Westby, WI; Kalona, IA and only one in Denver, CO where I live. My grandmother gave me my first one, a small pitcher that you could use for cream/milk…then it became an item I searched for in our travels home to La Crosse. I can spot them from across an antique store I think!!!
    Sure brought back a wonderful memory for me Jo. Happy Thanksgiving to your wonderful family!

  8. Vicki

    I love my little white featherweight. I saw it at a local second hand store for $20.00 in 1975……too expensive for a newlywed. My mother surprised me by giving it to me for my birthday a couple weeks later. I think of my mother every time I use that little machine…priceless!

  9. Judith Fairchild

    Hi, the stain on your sewing cabinet may be able to take it off using mayonnaise. I don’t know why it works but it seems to very nicely. What a lovely birthday gift for yourself. I would have given you a run for your money if I had been there.

  10. Beth T.

    It’s a good thing I’m not the one going to the auctions. I’d be scooping stuff up for the sentimental value, like those little horses–the moment I saw them, a loud, “Awww!” escaped me, because I remembered the ones my sister and I played with as kids. I’m sure I’d find all kinds of treasures, being cleared out by people who are more practical than I am.

  11. Donna T

    Wow I thought my featherweight was too expensive but that went even higher! Love your sewing cabinet!

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